Mongolia: Affinity 缘 . 14th Aug to 13th Oct 2017.
NUSS Guild House Kent Ridge Gallery
Mongolia: Affinity 缘 an exhibition to showcase our art and photography and the “affinity 缘” we have with Mongolia.
In 2016, a group of us who are child sponsors and volunteers with World Vision Singapore went on a trip to visit the children at the Area Development Office in World Vision Mongolia in Uvurkhangai Community. This year, some of us who went on the trip decided to get together to do an art and photograph exhibition to share their stories, raise funds and bring about greater awareness of the abundance that Mongolia has to offer to us.
Mongolia entices us. According to wikipedia, “the wildlife of Mongolia consists of unique flora and fauna in eight habitats dictated by the diverse and harsh climatic conditions found in the country. These habitats are flood plains, forests, tundra, taiga forests in the north, salty marshes, fresh-water sources, desert steppes at the centre, and semi deserts, as well as the famous Gobi desert in the south, the fourth largest desert in the world.
About 90 percent of this landlocked country is covered by deserts or pastures with extreme climatic conditions; this desert area is the largest temperate grassland habitat. Fauna reported in the wild consists of 139 mammal species, 448 species of birds (including 331 migratory and 119 resident birds), 76 species of fish, 22 reptile species, and six species of amphibians. Grass land and shrubland covers 55 percent of the country, forest covers only 6 percent in the steppe zone, 36 percent is covered by desert vegetation, and only 1 percent is used for human habitation and agricultural purposes, such as growing crops. The floral vegetation in the Eastern Steppe temperate consists of grassland (the largest of its type in the world).”
In this exhibition, we hope to use the beauty of photography and Chinese ink painting to share the spirit of Mongolia – the land of blue skies and white clouds.
“When I first visited Mongolia in Oct 2017, I was not sure of what to expect. Yes, I have heard about the harsh weather and the challenges of the children in the community but I did not expect myself to stay in a Ger camp or an apartment that is rented from a local Singapore lady, YL, who is based in Mongolia for some 13 years. The beauty of the nature reserve, the hospitality of the Mongolians and the beautiful Mongolian calligraphy are what spoke to me the most. I have chosen to paint the Bactrian Camel, the Mongolian horses that we met along the way as well as the magnificent eagle and the beautiful Ger camp we stayed in to show case the beauty of Chinese ink as well as to tell the stories behind these animals. While doing research on Mongolia I was intrigued to find out that there was a Snow Leopard Trust (https://www.snowleopard.org/our-work/where-we-work/mongolia/) which works in 5 of the 12 countries where snow leopards are found – China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Pakistan. Collectively, these 5 countries contain over 75% of the world’s population of wild snow leopards.
It is my hope that my paintings can help bring some funds to help children from World Vision Mongolia (Source: http://www.worldvision.org.sg/about-us/our-global-presence/mongolia-uvurkhangai/).
Together with my students, friends and fellow volunteers we hope our stories will resonate with you.” – Pin Lay, social artist and educator.